Journalism students from Francis Howell North High and Barnwell Middle traveled to the Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C. Nov. 21-24. The students attended learning sessions, participated in competitions and brought home a few awards.
“We had 39 students on the trip, which was the largest group we have ever had,” Aaron Manfull, director of student media at Francis Howell North, said. “They were great on the trip and came back with so many wonderful ideas to make themselves and the program better.”
The top prize went to North Star Newsmagazine, which was honored by the National Scholastic Press Association as a Pacemaker winner in the newspaper category. This is the seventh consecutive Pacemaker Award the North Star has earned.
“Winning the Pacemaker was really exciting,” North Star’s co-Editor-in-Chief Gracie Bowman said. “The staff works really, really hard to make a great paper, and I think the Pacemaker is something we all really appreciate for all the hard work we put in.”
The North Star Newsmagazine captured 10th place in the newspaper special edition category and Francis Howell North’s media podcast, FHNAllDay, took first place in the podcast category.
“I find it difficult to express in words the honor that I feel and how proud I am to play a part in bringing this award to the program,” Podcast editor Tom Jamsion said. “FHNAllDay was an amazing way to kick off the podcasting program, and I hope we can use this along with continued support from our administration and journalism instructors to further boost our podcasting program to new heights.”
Fifteen FHN staffers were honored for their work in write-off competitions at the convention.
Numerous students were also finalists in the National Scholastic Press Association’s individual awards for work that appeared during the 2018-19 school year.
For the first time, Barnwell Middle students also attended with the high school group.
Lily Duncan earned a national Honorable Mention in Middle School Photo of the Year, and Olivia Van Horn earned an Honorable Mention in the on-the-spot editorial writing competition. The yearbook staff earned ninth place in the Middle School Yearbook Best of Show category, and the Paw Print Newspaper took third place in the convention’s Best of Show competition.
The Francis Howell North journalism program is led by Aaron Manfull and Jordyn Kiel. They oversee the nearly 100 members on staff and 300 students who run through the program each year.
High school students at Francis Howell North can enroll in a variety of journalism courses. Beginning students can take digital photojournalism for practical arts credit. The introductory journalism and broadcast journalism classes count as communication arts credits. Once students have had a prerequisite, they can join the school newspaper or yearbook staff and enroll in a for-credit class, taking newspaper production, newspaper production honors, yearbook production, or yearbook production honors.